Ramadan Mubarak

Published 1st May 2019

“When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”

Over the next few weeks millions of people around the world will be spending from dawn to dusk abstaining from food and drink. Despite this they will go about their daily business as usual (but maybe with a few more prayers and good deeds thrown in). Yes you’ve guessed it, a religious observance is upon us. It is the fast of Ramadan, one of the Five Pillars of Islam followed by observant Muslims.

Ramadan takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic year and marks the time when the Quran was revealed by Allah to Muhammad. Ramadan starts and ends with the new moon, and this year the ninth month starts in the evening of 5th May and continues to 5th June.

Throughout the month the fast includes no water or food throughout sunlight hours (with exception being for the elderly, ill, pregnant, breastfeeding and young children). However, it is also a month of special foods as the meals before dawn and very importantly after dusk are a time for families and groups to come together and to share the daily return to food. Dates are traditionally used to break the fast each day – so expect to see many markets and grocers with piles of dried dates.

Significantly, as part of the observance the period of Ramadan is also a time for donating to charity, carrying out good works, staying humble and regular prayers.

The Ramadan fast finishes on 4th June this year as the last day of the month is for the celebration of Eid-al-fitr (5th June) – a big party and celebration. The Islamic calendar is a lunar one which is why Ramadan moves around each year, and why many non-Muslims might be confused as to when the fast is – but now we hope you know.

So from the HA we wish those fasting a blessed Ramadan, and for the non-Muslim world enjoy your shops filled with dates.